Christmas takes a bit of a toll sometimes, especially when you know people who enjoy celebrating the holidays properly. Everyone is usually tired after that, which is no real surprise.
Having to fly when tired not at all fun. Everything seems just that little bit more challenging as you navigate the airport hazards such as check-in, security and Passport control. Sometimes you’re in luck and get an early departure.
EI609 – Amsterdam to Dublin (AMS-DUB)
26 December 2019
Airbus A320 – EI-DEA – St. Fidelma
Seat: Economy 3A
Departure: 17:00 Arrival: 17:40
Being the day after Christmas, I was surprised the airport was pretty empty. No queue at security, no queue at Passport control. Bliss. After the long walk to the gate, I sat down and waited patiently for boarding to start.
Early Boarding – A Clue?
The inbound service arrived very early, just over an hour before my flight was due to depart. Since boarding was supposed to start at 16:40, I figured I would be sitting about for quite some time.
Shortly after the last people got off, there was activity at the gate and priority boarding is announced at 16:10! Everyone sort of sits there, until I get up and am first on board. Surprised? I certainly was! Boarding proceeded pretty leisurely and finished very quickly.
Hangover Treats On Board
A couple of stragglers arrive and everyone is on board. A fair amount of seats are free, as 26th December is certainly not a major travel day. We leave and for once have a runway close to the gate. Those who know Amsterdam know it’s a crap shoot and can be a 15 minute taxi to the furthest runway. Once in the air, cabin crew swing into action and I request the Steak Slice.
To my surprise, they actually have one on board! I’ve requested this on several flights and they’re always out of stock, so I was happy to finally score one. Beef and Guinness Pie is featured on many Irish menus, and this is just a variation on that. The very tasty filling makes for a perfect snack and I rather enjoyed it. We landed in Dublin. Early!
An early arrival is especially appreciated when you’re tired. It’s also appreciated at just about any other time in my book, as I like arriving at my destination early.
Especially surprising to me was that it was this flight. I’ve taken the 17:00 flight on Aer Lingus from Amsterdam several times and it’s usually always delayed to one extent or another. I was expecting the same, so it was a double bonus to have this particular flight leave early.
Aer Lingus provide good service on board, with my only quibble being that you’re never sure if they are going to have all the items on the menu. I guess this does reduce wastage, which is excellent, however it is a little disappointing when you can’t get what you want. Happily that was not the case on this flight.
Do you prefer your flights to land early or is on time better? What is the earliest a flight has arrived with you on board? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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I prefer leaving and landing on time. I hate it when airlines pad their schedules to accomodate their own inefficiencies and give their customers the impression of being on time
They all do that nowadays… it’s amazing how much earlier you sometimes arrive when the departure is on time and there are no delays anywhere.
It is rare but I prefer to board and leave early. I’ve had early departing flights on Spirit and KLM in recent months. Neither airline had a calm boarding process but after a little chaos everyone was on the plane and we pushed early. I think arriving early is more of a problem as the gates never seem to be available to match the arrival time.
That’s true, I’ve had a few experiences where the flight has arrived and we’ve sat about waiting for up to 10 minutes for the gate to become available. It’s happened a few times at Heathrow and also a couple of times in Dublin. It’s never great!
An early departure sounds great on the surface but may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Passengers may be sitting comfortably in a lounge rather than at the gate because the flight is not supposed to board for a while. Connecting passengers may be left behind. There may not be a gate available at the arrival airport. That said, if everyone is at the gate and ready, why not leave?
Well, a flight is not going to leave without connecting passengers and everyone being on board. In actual fact, we would have left about 10 minutes or so earlier, but we were waiting on people. Totally agree that if they can go, they should. I’d personally rather be sitting on the plane than on some hard seat at the gate, if I had the choice. Thanks for the comment!